Unemployment rate climbs to 3.6 percent in March

The national unemployment rate was 4.5 percent last month.

Unemployment fell two-tenths of a percentage point last month to 5.1 percent in both Tennessee and Georgia, according to job figures released today.

Over the past year, the state has gained 48,162 jobs, a growth rate of 1.7 percent, compared to a United States growth rate of 1.5 percent in that time. "When the labor force grows quicker than residents can find work, unemployment rates take a hit and that's exactly what we've seen over the past 12 months". The unemployment rate at this time a year ago was 4.9 percent.

"First of all, with the low unemployment rate, and this is coupled with baby boomer retirement, it's a good sign that individuals are still coming into our labor force at a very good pace", he said.

Nonfarm employment increased over the year by 63,500 jobs. With 26,700 more people employed and 7,900 more unemployed, the labor force increased by 34,500 people from February. This is the largest sector in Kentucky with more than 400,000 jobs accounting for one-fifth of all nonfarm employment. Industries that lost jobs included trade, transportation, and utilities (down 2,500), education and health care (down 1,400), and construction (down 900). The jobless rate increased from 7.8 percent to 8.2 percent in March, which may occur when workers are optimistic about their prospects.

The report shows the state added 500 private-sector jobs between February and March.

Belieciks says the number of jobs was up by 2,400 in March. Manufacturing (-5,800 jobs) was the only sector to report job losses.

Kentucky's statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted.

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